Scuba Diving in Gran Canaria

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Scuba diving off the coast of Gran Canaria

Scuba diving off the coast of Gran Canaria

What makes Gran Canaria a spectacular diving sensation and why is it listed amount the world’s top 100 diving sites?

The waters surrounding Gran Canaria are teeming with colourful marine life from the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Atlantic and from Africa. There are eleven species only found in the Canaries, you can dive on all sides of the island and all year round due to the great climate. Most of the island is surrounded by a shelf at about 20-24m deep – ideal for recreational diving.

In 2004 UNESCO approved Gran Canaria as a World Biosphere Reserve signalling this Canary Island as a really special place because of its diversity – above and below sea level.

Diving in the South

Scuba Diving in Gran Canaria

Scuba Diving in Gran Canaria

The tourism is concentrated in the south of the island and there are several divecenters offering diving to the casual scuba diver. Let’s Go Diving is one such professional company, offering modern and well-maintained equipment, as well as their own boat. For safety and to offer an excellent, personal and professional service numbers are limited so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment! They offer 16 divesites (primarily boat dives) so there’s plenty of choice on offer. Novices and professional divers are all welcome. Let´s Go Diving has its base aboard the “Atlantis” in the Harbour of Pasito Blanco in Maspalomas.

Once past the sandy beaches of Playa del Ingles, Maspolomas and Meloneras and round the southern tip of the island, the west coast offers numerous coves and bays from Pasito Blanca to Arguineguin, Anfi del Mar, Purto Rico, Playa del Cura and Mogan, and a few off-shore sites such as Pasito Blanco.

Diving in the North

In the North East, near Las Palmas. most diving is by boat, although only a few wrecks are now dived, with La Catedral and Barra de Las Canteras being the other most significant dives. Working clockwise around the coast, it is possible to dive from several bays, inlets and small beaches. The Gando Shoal has some interesting wrecks but at present there is no dive school (as at August 2012) or boat which goes there regularly.

Diving in the East

One of the best diving areas on the island is ‘El Cabron’ – the Arinaga Marine Reserve on the East Coast, where divers can be found every day of the week.

Playa del Cabron is a great place to learn to dive as it is sheltered and safe yet has a prolific and colourful marine life. You can also take part in deeper water dives wheres some of the more unusual creatures are found, or snorkeling or even a marine safari.

An introduction to Scuba Diving in Gran Canaria

An introduction to Scuba Diving in Gran Canaria

El Cabron has developed such a reputation for the variety and quantity of marine life, it has not only been proposed as a marine reserve but an underwater guidebook has been produced by the local council. But it is not just the marine life which makes this area special for scuba diving, the underwater scenery is stunning, with natural arches, caves, tunnels, swim-throughts and cliffs. From the main entry point there are at least four different dive routes and altogether eight and ten separate dives in the reserve, although the entry from the shore can be difficult due to the harsh conditions you can sometimes expect there. However, El Carbon divecenter don’t own a boat and dives are therefore restricted to the marine reserve, which is shorediving only. Those that do offer boatdives are as good as El Cabron for the quantity and variety of species you can expect to see.

Marine life includes huge shoals of Roncarores, damselfish, sardines and baracuda, other species such as bream, wrasse and parrotfish are common throughout the reserve. You may even see rays, sea-horses, glass-eye and gorgonias.

Despite the beauty the reserve currently have no visitor facilities. The best dives bottom out at around 22 and are multi-level, which means if you are careful with your air, you can dive for 40+ minutes.

Diving in the North East

The north-west coast is subject to strong wells and the northerly trades and so rarely dived, with only Sardina del Norte being used on a regular basis.

2015 Scuba Diving Trip

Scuba diving off Puerto Rico Gran Canaria

Scuba diving off Puerto Rico Gran Canaria

We tried scuba diving in Puerto Rico on 29th July 2015 for the first time, just a short drive from Playa Del Ingles where we were staying. This journey used to be quite perilous but since the motorways have been added so you can drive under the mountains and the journey now takes a fraction of the time. We used PR Diving, a small but very friendly company who offer 1 to 1 tuition, run by Nina and Kevin.

They collected us directly outside our hotel promptly at 08:30. As complete newcomers to scuba diving we begun the day by watching a 20-minute video on how the equipment works and then changed into our wet suits and headed straight to the beach where we put on our weight belts, oxygen tanks, flippers and life vests, all quite heavy until we got into the water!

After a little more tuition on how the equipment works and some demonstrations in the sea, we soon headed beneath the surface to explore the hidden world…

What surprised us most is the amount of fish that can be seen so close to the shore, we only dived for about an hour but were able to view grey mullet, cuttlefish, band tail puffers, sharpnose puffer, ornate wrasse, parrot fish and sea urchins. all within just a few meters of the shoreline. We dived to approximate 6 meters (felt much deeper!) and fed the fish banana!

The morning soon eroded but as an introduction to scuba diving we had a great time and would highly recommend it to anyone and would definitely do it again. Swimming under water for almost an hour whilst breathing (and not coming to the surface) was a very strange sensation…We did the ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ session, the next step would be a two-day course towards certification.

Download the Gran Canaria Diving Guide here.

Scuba Diving Gallery

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